Avenida Rio Salado

Project

The City of Phoenix Street Transportation Department, DCM, partnered with The Barnhart Co. to provide community outreach and public information activities in support of the Avenida Rio Salado/Broadway Road construction project.

Issue

The project stretched from Seventh Street to 51st Avenue and entailed multiple segments of construction that would occur over several years each. The complexities in construction and the extended time-frame of the project made effective communication with affected businesses and neighborhoods essential. Businesses in the project area included a mix of small independent businesses, commercial services, bars and restaurants alongside residential neighborhoods with a predominant Spanish speaking population.

Solution

The Barnhart Co. created multiple layers of bilingual communication outlets to inform and support the local businesses. These included:

  • A project website with a page dedicated for local business promotions. Businesses could provide a flyer or announcement about offers that would be posted on the website.
  • A quarterly newsletter that provided updates on the project. The newsletter identified the areas of the project by segments so businesses and residents could clearly see what was happening and what was upcoming in their neighborhoods. Newsletters were distributed by mail and also provided to common community meeting places.
  • Providing translation services at public meetings.
  • Creating a Construction Advisory Panel that included people who lived or owned a business in the areas adjacent to construction. The monthly meeting provided updates on progress and previews of upcoming work and were key to engaging and supporting businesses during the project.

Results

When meeting with businesses, The Barnhart Co. would find that patrons are frustrated about construction and the ability of customers to reach their businesses. The Barnhart Co. would go above and beyond, taking the time to educate businesses not just on what customers would need to know about construction but also on ways they and their staff could share this information. Clear and consistent bilingual communication helped create strong relationships with local businesses and communities throughout the time of the project.